This is an insightful compilation:
Teachers often assume that, because they are “teaching,” students must be learning. Students assume that, because they have read their text and memorized facts, they have learned something.
No, it isn’t about the paradigms and the vocabulary. It is what you do with them, and whether or not you develop the urge to map everything you learn on everything you already know – integration of sorts. It’s exhilarating and empowering when you do it.
The article in the link is quite long but worth reading. Here is another excerpt:
The American education system is considered among the best in the world. More than 50% of our nation’s high school graduates continue on to college and each year our universities and colleges enroll thousands of students from other countries. Despite these statistics, several recent studies have shown that many college seniors have neither good general knowledge nor the necessary skills for reasoning in today’s society (Fink 2003). As an example, Saunders (1980) compared U.S. students who had completed a yearlong economics course with those who had never taken a course in economics. At the end of the course, the test scores of those students who had completed the economics course were only 20% better than those who had not taken the course, and this difference dropped to less than 10% seven years after completion of the course. Equally shocking are the results of a study of critical thinking and college faculty in California. Although most of the faculty (75%) claimed to value critical thinking and to promote it in the classroom, less than 19% were able to provide a clear explanation of critical thinking, and less than 10% were able to identify criteria for evaluating the quality of students’ thinking (Paul et al. 1997). The results of these studies, and many others, strongly suggest that our current instructional practices are not working and that many students are not learning, or retaining what they do learn (Fink 2003).